Launching Spring Auction 2019!

spring auction 2019 once upon a timeWe are excited to announce that MPA’s Spring Auction 2019–Once Upon a Time will be at the Vadnais Heights Commons on Saturday, May 11! Mark your calendars for the biggest event of the year!

Support MPA by donating auction items, becoming a sponsor, or purchasing your tickets now before they sell out! Find all of the details on the auction’s new website. All donations can be dropped off at the Development Office. If you have any questions please contact Susan Robertson, Annual Giving & Alumni Relations Manager, at 651-748-5531 or via email.

Witness The Impact

by Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

If you have logged into Facebook or checked your email today, you are well aware that today is Give to the Max Day. Across the state of Minnesota, this day is a celebration of the power of philanthropy to change lives. For MPA, today marks a celebration of our generous donors who are so very dedicated to our students and who believe in making an impact on our school community.

The mission of Mounds Park Academy is vibrant and powerful, delivered by talented and caring teachers, and is having a tremendous impact on the lives of our students each day. Impact means to have a strong effect on someone or something. You share in that impact by the value you place on learning, the investment you are making in the education of your children, and your commitment and support of Mounds Park Academy. Read More

Happy Give To The Max Day!

Happy Give To The Max Day! As of noon, MPA families have raised an incredible $48,565. If we reach $75,000, a generous family will give a bonus gift of $25,000 to get us to the goal of $100,000 today! Incredible!

As Dr. Hudson shared in his email on Tuesday, “Our young people desperately need an extended family, like the one MPA provides, to provide a safe, nurturing environment in which to thrive. And, our world desperately needs engaged, educated, ethical, and empowered citizens who are committed to improving our world. I contribute to the MPA Fund to make this happen and, if you haven’t already, I humbly ask you to join me.” Follow along on Facebook as MPA’s community shares why MPA matters to each of them! Read More

Save The Date For The Pancake Breakfast!

pancake breakfast 2017Save the date for the annual Pancake Breakfast, hosted by the Board of Trustees! On Wednesday, December 5 from 7-8 AM in the Cafeteria, come celebrate MPA’s 37-year history with us while enjoying a community breakfast served by the Board of Trustees. There will be homemade pancakes fresh from the griddle, a variety of delicious toppings, savory sides, coffee, and juice! You are also invited to explore MPA’s past with the Pancake Breakfast history display!

Please contact Laurie Foss, Executive Assistant to the Head of School, via email or at 651-748-5522 with any questions.

Join Us On Saturday For MPA Talks

Purchase your tickets for MPA Talks to join us on Saturday as four members of our community share their meaningful, impactful, and inspiring stories! MPA Talks is a tradition that brings our community together, and we can’t wait to share the evening with you. Below is just a glimpse of the stories you’ll be inspired by on Saturday evening and tickets are still available!

Laurel Schwartz ’11 will be discussing stories passed down through generations, and how they tell us about the past and also shape the future. As human beings we are predisposed to sharing our life and our histories with others. For so long, the narratives in the news, in books and on the big screen have highlighted a single story that often left many people and identities in the margins. Now, every person has the capacity and the platform to be a storyteller with an audience. And, with that, comes our ability to change the world.

Kelly Turpin ’04’s talk will be covering her journey as an opera singer to artistic activist, which is how Arbeit Opera Theatre came to be. She has always wanted to make a difference, be at the forefront of change and societal progress, but only recently discovered how she could do that with her background in opera.

For years, MPA senior Julia Portis saw Breakthrough’s offices she passed them in the hallway; however, before her junior year she did not know what the program entailed. Upon learning about Breakthrough’s mission and curriculum, she excitedly applied to be a teaching fellow. The 9-week program brought several things to her attention: there are serious flaws in the educational system, and Minnesota suffers from one of the highest opportunity gaps in America. She believes it is imperative that we bring attention to this issue and start a conversation.

MPA Senior Gabby Law is going to talk about education–if education is the “key to success in life,” why is the system failing so many people? As a teaching fellow for Breakthrough Twin Cities, Gabby saw the incredible students in our community that the education system is leaving behind. Through her experience, Gabby will explain how we can make school a place for everyone and show just how powerful and joyful learning is for those who need it the most.

The ticket price of $20 includes passed hors d’oeuvres, dinner, and the presentations. Tickets are limited to 50. Visit for more details on each speaker and to purchase tickets.

Your Gifts Make College Counseling Possible

college decision day 2018This article is the fourth in a series called “The Fall Campaign Stories of Impact: Five Weeks, Five Stories, Five Reasons to Give.”

Think of a list of common fears, and a familiar few come to mind. Public speaking. Air travel. Spiders. And here in Minnesota, an early snow! Another typical source of anxiety is the college application process—a journey in U.S. culture that’s often driven by worries about attending the “best” school, instead of the right school.

Lisa Pederson, MPA’s director of College Counseling, addresses that sense of dread head-on, with compassion, expertise, and a proven program that empowers students to customize their college search based on their unique strengths, interests, and long-term goals. “The best fit for one is not the right fit for the next, even among high-achieving, academically strong, and otherwise talented students,” says Pederson. “Today’s college admissions professionals are looking for the authentic voice in their applicants, not a packaged one that checks every box.” Read More

Meet MPA Talks Speaker Kelly Turpin ’04

kelly turpin '04Kelly Turpin is an art producer in Minneapolis. She is an advocate of opera and art as a social movement and strives to produce work that is accessible, inclusive, and challenging, in ways that engage and educate communities. She received opera performance degrees from Ithaca College (BM) and Arizona State University (MM) and continues to perform locally. At MPA Talks, Kelly will be discussing her journey as an opera singer to artistic activist, which is how Arbeit Opera Theatre came to be. She has always wanted to make a difference, be at the forefront of change and societal progress, but only recently discovered how she could do that with her background in opera.

We asked Kelly several questions so that you could get to know her better prior to MPA Talks!

We ask our students to dream big and do right. Do you feel that call to action is important to the future of our society and if so, why?

Yes! And it’s something I don’t think should or will ever change. However, I think it should begin with doing right. Acting with integrity sometimes comes with more of a risk than it should. It’s a guarantee of difficult situations and decisions along the way but in striving to live with integrity through every action and choice it’s also a guarantee of progress and positive change. With determination to do right and uphold truth through passion there’s nothing that can hold you back on achieving those big dreams. Read More

Meet MPA Talks Speakers Gabby Law and Julia Portis

gabby law teaching at breakthroughGabby Law and Julia Portis are both seniors at Mounds Park Academy who worked as teaching fellows with Breakthrough Twin Cities this past summer. At MPA, Gabby captains the tennis, Nordic skiing, and track teams, and has earned several awards in speech and debate. She is a student ambassador, peer leader, and co-leads Social Consciousness Club. When not being a concertmaster to the school’s orchestras, All-State Choir member, and licensed beekeeper, Gabby is busy applying to colleges. Julia is is heavily involved in speech, music, theater, student council (co-president), peer leaders, ambassadors, and debate—interacting with different people and mentors. She also enjoys attending events that allow her to advocate for her beliefs. She also loves traveling and spending time with friends and family.

We asked Gabby and Julia several questions so that you could get to know them better prior to MPA Talks!

Who inspires you to be better and how?

GL: My students inspired me to take full advantage of my educational opportunities. Their lack of access to small class sizes and hands-on learning during the school year reminds me of just how lucky I am to go to a private school. Because of them, I give 100% at school. Read More

Your Gifts Make Transformational Learning Possible

student on ropes courseThis article is the first in a series called “The Fall Campaign Stories of Impact: Five Weeks, Five Stories, Five Reasons to Give.”

At MPA, we know that educational aha moments aren’t limited to the school day or the four walls of a classroom. That’s why experiential learning off campus is built into the curriculum, allowing students to grow and explore in a variety of settings that cultivate a genuine joy of learning.

For Bridgette Shannon’s eighth grade son DJ, attending this fall’s Eagle Bluff overnight was truly transformational. “He came back a different person, with a different perspective on life,” she says. The Eagle Bluff experiments around ecology and conservation continued to make an impact at home, long after the trip ended. “Coming out of Eagle Bluff, he doesn’t want to be wasteful or careless,” says Bridgette, “from not stepping on a bug to cleaning his room!”

Relationships were another powerful part of the Eagle Bluff experience for DJ, which was especially important as a student new to MPA. “They hiked in the woods and had to navigate their way back, work together as a group, and really bond,” Bridgette explains. “There was a student who was uneasy about being away from home, and DJ was able to support his friend, and help him build confidence.”

Read More

Meet MPA Talks Speaker Laurel Schwartz ’11

laurel Schwartz at a film festival for her documentaryLaurel Schwartz ’11 is currently a multimedia producer and social advocacy student at Columbia University. “Or, [I’m] a social scientist with a track record for getting things done,” she says.

After graduating from Mounds Park Academy, Laurel attended Scripps College, where she studied American studies and media studies. She has spent the last several years work at advertising agencies and PR firms creating media both for fortune 500 brands and for social advocacy causes. Additionally, her self-produced documentary about chronic illness appeared in several film festivals last spring.

We asked Laurel several questions so that you could get to know her better prior to MPA Talks!

What do you believe will be the greatest challenge our current students will face in their lifetimes and how do you see MPA equipping them to face that challenge? 

When I graduated from high school, I knew two things: first, that I was passionate about history and social change, and, second, that creativity made me tick. What I didn’t know was that one day, there would be a job that would allow me to use my creativity to make a difference in the world. MPA is so remarkable because it is an institution that truly allows each student to find what uniquely gets them fired up in the morning and helps students imagine opportunities, solutions, and even jobs that don’t exist yet. MPA equips students to follow their curiosity for the world. Read More